You enter Shelters of Saratoga at 14 Walworth Street and you notice immediately after the reception desk the kitchen on one side of a corridor and the dining area on the other side.
And you notice both areas are immaculate and shining..
Then, Peter Whitten, Executive Director of Shelters of Saratoga tells you almost all of the 32 beds available for the homeless male and female guests are occupied.
Peter then tells you the guests are provided a breakfast and a dinner every day and the guest do the cooking and preparation and they clean-up and put everything in order before they leave for the day.
The guests know it's their responsibility to keep their temporary home in order. Obviously, they take that responsibility seriously.
That was meaningful information for John Fullerton and Joan Taylor, DVM who were visiting Shelters as representatives of the Adirondack Trust Community Fund.
The Fund had made a grant to the Shelters in 2012. Both Joan and John will tell you that the Fund established in 2009 is still developing its expertise in evaluating grant recipients.
They like seeing grants nourish and help organizations develop. At Shelters the immaculate kitchen and the dining area (and with 30 guests making their own meals) were testament to an organization that depended upon the people they helped to help themselves.
Guests are about one-third those suffering from economic down turns, lost jobs; those with mental conditions and those with abuse problems - drugs, alcohol. The Shelters has a strict no substance or alcohol while a guest.
Guests leave the Shelters everyday and are expected to seek employment, consulting, lodging, useful tasks before they return for the evening.
The building at 14 Walworth has 19 beds of which five are for the women who need shelter. Guests have the responsibility of cleaning and caring for their rooms and bathrooms.
Renovation of 20 Walwoth Street has been completed and adds 12 additional beds. Year round occupancy holds at 90-95%